Between Two Slices: Scram in Jersey City

Our roving correspondent finds the nearly perfect breakfast sandwich.

Exterior of Scram in Jersey City. Photo courtesy of Scram

Call me weak, call me lazy, call me old. Call me anything you want. But after one day of hard manual labor, I was dog tired. I limped to my car like an aging boxer. The next morning, all of my fingers were swollen. I didn’t know if I could even hold a sandwich, let alone eat one. But it was a gorgeous September morning and I was up for the challenge.

My friend picked me up and we cruised to downtown Jersey City and stood in line at Scram, a southern-style bakery and breakfast sandwich joint on Erie Street. Scram comes from Melanie Durant, who was named one of the best new pastry chefs in the country by Food & Wine in 2013. Scram began as a food truck located in Charleston, South Carolina, before packing its bags for the Jersey City storefront in 2019. Though the shop is open from Thursday–Sunday, its breakfast “buns” are only available Fridays and Saturdays from 9am to noon.

In addition to its limited menu of sammies, Scram also offers an array of homemade quiches, crullers, pastries, teas and coffee. Naturally, I ordered one of everything from the sandwich menu—the bacon bun, ham bun, and fontina bun. My friend and I booked it back to his car and casually laid out the buns on the trunk of his car and tailgated with our coffees, Jersey-style.

The bacon bun had scrambled egg, bacon, cheddar, caramelized onions, and ketchup. My lord, I heard the angels sing. The eggs were unbelievably light and fluffy, perfectly balancing out the richness of the sharp cheddar and crispy bacon. And it had just the right amount of onions and ketchup, making sure it wasn’t too wet or sloppy. Let’s talk about the bun. It was so incredibly soft and delicious, you could put anything on there and it’d be amazing. It had the same consistency as a Hawaiian roll, but even softer and not as sweet. The bacon bun was simply a well-crafted breakfast sandwich with all of the right ingredients. And the homemade quality of everything made it one of the best breakfast sandwiches I’ve had.

The Bacon Bun:

Bread: 5/5
Filling: 5/5
Toppings: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Scram JC

The Bacon Bun, left, and the Fontina Bun from Scram in Jersey City. Photos by Chris Gennone

Next I tried the fontina bun, which had scrambled egg, shallot and chili mayo. This was significantly lighter and less rich than the bacon bun, serving as a refreshing change of course. The buttery fontina cheese is blended in with the fluffy eggs so well, and the chili mayo adds a slight kick at the end. I couldn’t taste much of the shallot, but all of the sandwich’s other elements were on-point. It could’ve used maybe a little something extra, maybe some herbs or more heat, but I wasn’t complaining. I could just eat that bun by itself and be satisfied.

The Fontina Bun:

Bread: 5/5
Filling: 4/5
Toppings: 3.8/5
Overall: 4.2/5

Scram JC

The Ham Bun. Photo by Chris Gennone

Finally, I tried the ham bun, which featured a fried egg, smoked ham, gruyere, béchamel and pineapple jam. How luxurious. One bite into the fried egg and the yolk just started oozing everywhere and all over my beard, which was totally fine with me. The béchamel had a thick consistency and in addition to the crispy, salty, smoked ham, the béchamel and gruyere provided a savory layer of richness. The real kicker of this sandwich was the pineapple jam. The sweetness was so light and not overpowering, it made the sandwich as a whole so cohesive.

The Ham Bun:

Bread: 5/5
Filling: 4.5/5
Toppings: 4.7/5
Overall: 4.7/5

In New Jersey, we’re all so accustomed to our favorite breakfast staples, like Taylor Ham or pork roll (wherever you’re from). But it’s always refreshing to see breakfast sandwiches with different combinations and exciting homemade ingredients. I have yet to try any of Scram’s pastries, but the praise for chef Durant is definitely warranted. The homemade buns are unbelievably light and delicious, I might try to buy some to take home. The scrambled eggs were perfectly cooked, with a fluffy texture and a pleasant buttery taste. All of the toppings—pineapple jam, caramelized onions and béchamel—were all welcome additions and balanced out the flavors well. Each bun at Scram was well-made, well-constructed, cohesive, and was a very pleasant bite. Some Saturday mornings can be rough and hard to get out of bed. But if you can stomach the pain and grab a breakfast bun at Scram, I promise you won’t regret it.

Between Two Slices Overall Score: 4.7/5

Scram, 61 Erie Street, Jersey City: Open for take-out only on Thurs-Sun from 8am–2pm; Breakfast buns are only available on Fridays and Saturdays from 9am—noon.

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